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Ham radio antenna install location questions

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by jbaird22, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Apr 1, 2013 at 8:33 AM
    #81
    ProForce

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    Interesting... I was pretty sure it wasn't, but then again, I never took the time to check either. All I know is when I mounted my CB antenna as seen in the pics above, my SWR was off the charts indicating and short or no ground in my system. Added the ground strap i showed and was able to tune to 1.2:1 so if it is grounded, it must not be enough I guess.
     
  2. Apr 1, 2013 at 3:50 PM
    #82
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 [OP] Active Member

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364856559.184039.jpg radio mounted. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364856582.494317.jpg antenna mounted. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364856614.520541.jpg
    Ground wire to bed.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM
    #83
    Manwithoutaplan

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    nice ^ looks good .
     
  4. Apr 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM
    #84
    jbaird22

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    I got the fabric/carpet in today. I'll probably be adding it sometime this week.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2013 at 12:24 PM
    #85
    PreRunnerSeth

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    You should check your SWR with your antenna location. Having your antenna running parallel with a ground that close is bad news. generally you want the whole antenna clear of metal objects. If you do check your SWR make sure you dont use a CB SWR meter. They are not made to work in the VHF/UHF bands and you will get really messed up readings.

    Edit:

    Technical explanation:

    The entire antenna radiates in 360*. This means that the part of the signal that is radiating towards the metal ground of the cab will be reflected back at the antenna and show up as reflected energy and effect your SWR. It may still work this way and the SWR ***might be ok, but performance will most definitely be affected.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  6. Apr 3, 2013 at 4:24 AM
    #86
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    This ^ that's not a good place for an antenna. If you stand next to your antenna while you try and tune it it will effect your readings.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2013 at 11:59 AM
    #87
    Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Well-Known Member

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    On the antenna position: He has it at the front of the bed toward the left corner, would centered (left-to-right) on the front of the bed be better, or should it be up withthe base near the roof line? And this is for a 2 Meter radio, right?

    I am thinking of getting a 2 meter radio for trail communications and trying to figure out as much as I can before I get my Technician license.
     
  8. Apr 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM
    #88
    PreRunnerSeth

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    Up at the roof line would be best. Middle of the rail closest to cab would still be bad. get your license first. Will be too tempting to transmit before you get your license. Its a really easy test. study for a few hours the night before the test and a little before the test and you will pass.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM
    #89
    Desert Drifter

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    Thanks for the advice. I am an electronics/electrical tech by trade, so I hope to pick up the info pretty quick. Is it worth getting a class on it? Or where can I get a book to study? There is a ham radio shop here in Phoenix.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2013 at 8:46 PM
    #90
    MonkeyProof

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    I used the book and study DVD that came with it and also a free android app that had the test questions to quiz myself while at work. I spread out reading and studying the book over a three night period.. when it came time to test it was too easy. Don't know how many I missed because the testers were uptight old fogies and wouldn't tell me lol..I should have studied and taken the test for the extra class at the same time
     
  11. Apr 4, 2013 at 5:40 AM
    #91
    maineah

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    Nope it needs to be in the clear yes it could be mounted above the roof line. The pictured antenna is a VHF/UHF antenna It might work all right on UHF but over half of the antenna on VHF will not radiate forward and will have a dramatic effect on the pattern and the SWR. Study for your license a great deal of the text covers antennas. A little note on transmitting without a license it is illegal for a licensed ham to talk to you.
     
  12. Apr 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM
    #92
    jbaird22

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    I moved my antenna first to the hood hoping I wouldn't have to "drill the hole". That didn't work as the mount that I have is too thick to allow the hood to close properly. I eventually broke down and "drilled the hole". My antenna, which is 39 inches, looks ridiculous but reception seems better. There is literally so little 2 meter traffic in this area that calling for a test doesn't yield any results.

    The hole was drilled using a step drill bit. It needed to only be .66 inches to make it work. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1365100670.639247.jpg
     
  13. Apr 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM
    #93
    Desert Drifter

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    Definitely: License will be first.

    Besides this will curb my Tacoma mod spending a bit...
     
  14. Apr 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM
    #94
    jbaird22

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    I did notice that my antenna seemed to flex the roof some. Is this normal/ something I should be worried about? What is normal?
     
  15. Apr 5, 2013 at 4:30 AM
    #95
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Yes it does flex the roof all though electrically it probably is the very best place to put it, it may not be the best place physically. If you have a friend that is into computers the disk inside of a hard drive makes a great backup plate for a NMO mount on the inside they are thin and quite strong. That is one of the reasons I don’t like to mount antennas on truck roofs. We installed a cell phone antenna in an Explorer some years ago and during an ice storm the owner pulled into his drive way and the coil on his antenna got caught up in a hanging phone line before everything was over it ripped the antenna out of the roof and the coax tightened up and snapped the head liner free landing on his head.
     
  16. May 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM
    #96
    Chickenmunga

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    Hey all, thought I'd throw in some questions of my own.

    I currently have a CB antenna installed as shown below.
    for the HAM, I was looking into a Diamond K412 SNMO. Can I use that along the driver's side lip of the hood and be OK, or are the two antennas going to compete with each other? Maybe it will just be too goofy and I should go with the roof...


    [​IMG]
     
  17. May 21, 2013 at 7:24 PM
    #97
    BenMara

    BenMara Asian RedNeck

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    doubt it will interfer with each other, what band antenna are you going with on the diamond mount?
     
  18. May 22, 2013 at 4:16 AM
    #98
    maineah

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    Put it on the other side until you grow tired of the CB. It will slew the pattern and over load the CB's front end if they are too close.
     
  19. May 22, 2013 at 8:22 AM
    #99
    Chickenmunga

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    I was given the radio (an ICOM I-FC121) by search & rescue and told to go install it. I was also told to buy a Larsen NMO-150 and trim it to length, but I'm not sure what the length is, so I have a lot of people to bug so I can get this thing set up right.

    We use a single reserved VHF channel for our communication so I'm not required to take any classes. However, I don't like that idea so I'm taking the HAM class anyway.


    I can't get some of the guys I offroad with to even pony up for a CB. Even the FJC guys with three LED bars, long travel and bling to the sky seem to be deaf and mute on the trail :p
    At this time I'm going to need both, and I'll probably just be talking to one other guy on the HAM.

    Thanks for info on the antennas, looks like drilling the roof is the only way to go!
     
  20. May 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM
    #100
    BenMara

    BenMara Asian RedNeck

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    Agree!

    Id ask if any of the locals ham have an antenna analyzer to tune the antena before you TX on it
     
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